Japan teen designs app to fight spread of coronavirus pandemic

WION Web Team
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan Published: May 06, 2020, 08:40 AM(IST)

Apps on an iPhone Photograph:( AFP )

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Called Asiato, for "footprint," the app has been developed by 16-year-old Syu Kato. It keeps track of a phone's movements within a distance of 10 meters (33 feet) or more.

A teenager in Japan has designed an iPhone software application that uses GPS so individuals can keep their own records of their whereabouts in their mobile phone, to help with contact tracing in people who have contracted the novel coronavirus.

Called Asiato, for "footprint," the app has been developed by 16-year-old Syu Kato. It keeps track of a phone's movements within a distance of 10 meters (33 feet) or more. An English version of the app is available free from the iPhone App Store.

The app works like a diary, but keeps track of locations. To protect privacy, the data is stored in the phone and is not automatically shared.

If a person discovers they have COVID-19, Asiato identifies where they've been in the past several weeks. They would need to reach out on their own to people they may have infected, or inform health authorities if asked.

Kato is a digital whiz, who famously designed a mathematics application to do division that gives the remainder as a number for the answer, not decimal points. While in sixth grade, he developed a program for writing book reports. 

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